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IERS Message No. 133 July 30, 2008
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IAU Symposium 261 - First Announcement
RELATIVITY IN FUNDAMENTAL ASTRONOMY:
Dynamics, Reference Frames, And Data Analysis
27 April - 1 May 2009, Virginia Beach, USA
PRINCIPAL TOPICS:
- Astronomical reference frames in the relativistic framework
- Relativistic modelling of observational data
- Astronomical tests of relativity
- Relativistic dynamical modelling
- Relativity in astrodynamics and space navigation
- Modern observational techniques in fundamental astronomy
- Time measurement and time scales
- Astronomical constants and units of measurements
SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZING COMMITTEE:
Sergei Klioner (co-chair, Germany)
P. Kenneth Seidelmann (co-chair, USA)
Nicole Capitaine (France)
Antonio Elipe (Spain)
Sylvio Ferraz Mello (Brasil)
William Folkner (USA)
Toshio Fukushima (Japan)
Kenneth Johnston (USA)
Michael Kramer (UK)
Francois Mignard (France)
Andrea Milani (Italy)
Wei-Tou Ni (China PR)
Gerard Petit (France)
Michael Soffel (Germany)
David Vokrouhlicky (Czech Republic)
Clifford Will (USA)
LOCAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: ( from US Naval Observatory)
Michael Efroimsky (chair)
John Bangert
George Kaplan
Brian Luzum
Kevin Marvel (AAS)
Demetrios Matsakis
Alice Monet
Sean Urban
William Wooden
Norbert Zacharias
PROCEEDINGS:
The Proceeding of the Symposium will be edited by Sergei Klioner
(Germany), P. Kenneth Seidelmann (USA), and Michael Soffel (Germany),
and published by Cambridge University Press within 6 months after the
Symposium.
LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS:
The Symposium will be held in the Cavalier Hotel
(http://www.cavalierhotel.com/) at Virginia Beach, a wonderful Atlantic
resort in Virginia, USA. The expected special price of the hotel is
US$120 per night.
The registration fee of US $320 until 31 January 2009, or US $395 after
this date. The expenses covered are conference materials, reception,
light refreshments at coffee breaks, and a copy of proceedings.
There will be travel grants from the IAU for some participants.
Further details and information about registration and travel grants are
available at http://www.aas.org/divisions/meetings/iau/.
AAS DIVISION on DYNAMICAL ASTRONOMY
The Symposium will be held back-to-back and at the same location with
the 40th Annual Meeting of the Division on Dynamical Astronomy of the
American Astronomical Society. The DDA Meeting is May 2-5. The merger
is intended to facilitate a fruitful interaction between the two kindred
scientific communities.
SYMPOSIUM SCIENTIFIC RATIONALE:
The tremendous progress in technology, which we have witnessed during
the last 30 years, has led to enormous improvements of accuracy in the
disciplines of astrometry and time. Considering the growth of accuracy
of positional observations in the course of time, we see that during the
25 years between 1988 and 2013 we expect the same gain in accuracy (4.5
orders of magnitude) as that realized during the whole previous history
of astrometry, from Hipparchus till 1988 (over 2000 years).
Observational techniques like Lunar and Satellite Laser Ranging, Radar
and Doppler Ranging, Very Long Baseline Interferometry, high-precision
atomic clocks, etc., have made it possible to probe the kinematical and
dynamical properties of celestial bodies to unprecedented accuracy. It
is clear that for current accuracy requirements astronomical problems
have to be formulated within the framework of Einstein's theory of
gravity (General Relativity Theory). Many high-precision astronomical
techniques have already required the application of relativistic
effects, which are several orders of magnitude larger than the technical
accuracy of observations. In order to interpret the results of such
observations, one has to construct involved relativistic models. Many
current and planned observational projects cannot achieve their goals if
relativity is not taken into account properly. The future projects will
require the introduction of higher order relativistic models.
To make the relativistic models consistent with each other for different
observational techniques, to formulate them in the simplest possible way
for a given accuracy, and to formulate them in a language understandable
for astronomers and engineers who have little knowledge of relativity,
are the challenges of a multidisciplinary research field called Applied
Relativity. Applied Relativity emerged about 20-25 years ago, around the
time of the first and only IAU Symposium devoted to that field, namely
IAU Symposium 114 entitled "Relativity in celestial mechanics and
astrometry" held in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1985. This Symposium has
the goal to overview and summarize the progress that Applied Relativity
has made during the past quarter of a century and to develop the basis
for the future of this discipline.
Since 1985 we have seen many changes in the field. The IAU has adopted
a number of resolutions, where the standard IAU framework for
relativistic modelling was formulated. The IERS Conventions, one of the
most important documents containing a set of models used by the
International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), has
become consistently relativistic. The impact of this development is far
beyond the realm of fundamental astronomy. For example, the standard
software libraries like SOFA and NOVAS, which are widely used by the
astronomical community, have been influenced significantly by the
developments in that field. Astronomical time scales and time transfer
algorithms are known to be very sensitive to relativistic effects.
Timing observations have the largest ratio between the size of
relativistic effects and accuracy. The definitions of astronomical time
scales, which are fully consistent with Relativity, were completed in
2006. Also, the dynamical modelling for the solar system (major and
minor planets), for deep space navigation, and for the dynamics of
Earth's satellites must be consistent with Relativity. Although a lot of
effort has been made in these fields, there are many subtle issues,
which become obvious from comparisons with models used in different
fields. It is one of the goals of this Symposium to facilitate the
exchange between astronomers working in different areas.
Since the formulation of General Relativity in 1915, astronomical
observations have played a very important role for testing this theory.
Three of the four classical tests of General Relativity are based on
astronomical observations. The Symposium is expected to bring together
both experts interpreting high-accuracy astronomical observations and
physicists working in the field of General Relativity. It is expected
that within a decade from now the main relativistic parameters will be
measured with about 7 digits. Considering that at such a high level of
accuracy interpretation of astronomical data becomes increasingly
complicated and tricky, discussions among these two communities are
highly desirable.
This meeting is expected
1) to summarize the advances in Applied Relativity in the past quarter
of a century;
2) to highlight the astonishing achievements in testing General
Relativity and to elucidate the tests to be expected in the near
future;
3) to facilitate the communication and collaboration between scientists
working with high-accuracy data of different kinds by providing a
chance to meet at a common scientific meeting;
4) to consider and initiate the future developments of Applied
Relativity.
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